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Strong Second Half Lifts Nichols Past Men's Basketball

Strong Second Half Lifts Nichols Past Men's Basketball

DUDLEY, Mass. – Five players scored in double figures, including juniors Devin Stallings (Waterbury, Conn.) and Nate Tardy who each had 15, as the Nichols College men's basketball team won its sixth straight game, defeating Wentworth Institute of Technology, 82-72, in Commonwealth Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon.

With the win the Bison stand at 14-3 overall and 8-2 in league play while the Leopards see their season high three-game win streak come to an end and are 9-8 (7-3).

Senior Kyle Romich (Groton, Mass.) hit a three pointer with 16:26 left in the opening frame which ignited an 8-0 run and gave the Black & Gold a 12-6 lead with 14:20 left. Romich had five points during the run while sophomore Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) buried a three.

After the teams traded three pointers, Nichols used an 18-4 run which was capped off by a Stallings trifecta and gave the Bison a 27-19 lead with 7:47 left. The Leopards got within two (31-29) on a Romich jumper with 5:30 left and, after a Tardy three, would get a three from Ganley and a basket from sophomore Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) to tie the game at 34-all. The Bison scored the next five points but a three-point play from Fulcar with 29 ticks left made it a 39-37 game at the break. Wentworth shot 48.4 percent from the floor in the first half.

Wentworth went the first 6:08 of the second half without a field goal, however the Bison were only able to push the lead to six and when Ganley ended the string of missed field goals, he cut the lead to two. Nichols used a 12-2 run to turn a tie game into a 10-point lead with 8:28 to play. Wentworth used an 8-0 spurt of its own to cut into the deficit and trailed by two (64-62) with 5:17 left after two sophomore Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) free throws.

The hosts pushed their lead to five on three occasions and held a 73-69 lead after Romich made one of two free throws with 1:32 left. On the next possession, senior Christian Horton (Rutland, Mass.) hit a shot from behind the arc making it a seven-point contest. Romich answered with a three of his own, however Nichols hit six free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

In addition to Stallings and Tardy, senior Gustave Koumare (Harlem, N.Y.) scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out eight assists. Horton scored 13 points for the Bison.

Ganley and Romich combined to score 51 of Wentworth's 72 points, scoring 26 and 25 points, respectively. Ganley was 9-for-15 from the floor which included going 4-for-7 from behind the arc and also grabbed six rebounds. Romich grabbed seven rebounds, tying him for the team lead with sophomore Jovanny Lamisere (Watertown, Mass.). Wentworth, which was held to 31 percent shooting in the second half, outrebounded Nichols by a 46-38 margin.

Both teams continue CCC play on Wednesday. Wentworth hosts the University of New England while Nichols is at Endicott.